There are many studies linking ingredients in the air we breathe to the onset of chronic diseases. We spend ninety percent of our time indoors. Poor Indoor Air Quality has been linked to coughs, headaches, dizziness, Asthma, COPD, allergic reactions, sinus problems, depression, loss of energy, skin eruptions, itchy eyes, and many other diseases including cardio vascular disease and cancer. Studies relating to concerns about Indoor Air Quality are listed on Air Allergen’s Home Page under the heading ‘Studies”.
If what we breathe matters, why isn’t there more focus on Indoor Air Quality?
Drug Companies sell Pharmaceuticals
Allergists treat allergies
Environmentalists focus on outdoor air
Pharmacists dispense drugs
Pulmonologists repair the lungs
Emergency room doctors stabilize the patient
Landlords minimize expenses
Health Insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare pay for healthcare
Few focus on measuring and correcting unhealthy Indoor Air Quality
A professional’s education and purpose is to provide the services they are educated for, not steer people away from their area of expertise. It is up to consumers to select which service best serves their need, whether it be a doctor, pharmacist, or indoor air quality professional. In many cases, the better alternative for identifying the cause of health symptoms can be an indoor air quality analysis.
Much is known in the general population about the ingredients in what we eat, but not so much about the ingredients in what we breathe. Small amounts of what enters our body through the lungs can have just as many consequences as small amounts of ingredients that enter our body through the stomach. In addition to lack of knowledge about what we breathe, there is a lack of knowledge about how changes in construction practices have adversely affected the ingredients in the indoor air we breathe.
It was once thought that poor Indoor Air Quality only exacerbated breathing related diseases. It is now known that poor Indoor Air Quality plays a role in the onset of many of these diseases. Why test? To provide evidence based information that helps you make informed decisions about your indoor air quality in order to provide a healthier environment for you and your family.
Asthma, COPD and other breathing related chronic diseases have increased, yet outdoor air is cleaner now than any time since World War II. Indoor air is often 2 to 5 times as polluted with chemicals as outdoor air, averages 2 ½ times as much particulate, and is isolated from the cleaner outside air due to changed construction practices. In one study, twenty five percent of the indoor mold spore samples taken from thousands of locations over a five year period contained more than four times the median spore count and several times the recommended levels published by multiple countries.
What’s changed since World War II? We exchanged low mold growth plaster and hardwood floors for high mold growth carpets and drywall. We added coatings to block bacteria killing UV rays to double pane windows with weather stripping to prevent air filtration. We wrapped the envelope of the home with Tyvek and calked any seams to prevent air and moisture from leaking in or out.
We cheapened the quality of the shingles and roof decks and used staples rather than roofing nails to install the shingles leaving them more vulnerable to wind and rain damage. We used synthetic stucco that absorbed moisture and mixed asbestos in many of our interior materials. We added more bathrooms and water using devices, like ice makers in the refrigerator, and connected them with water pipes that that contained lead or deteriorated from minerals and chemicals in the water.
We put R19 insulation in the walls and piled twenty inches of insulation in the attic to prevent the furnace or air conditioner from running, reducing any dehumidification or filtration it might provide. We invented bathroom vents and cooking hoods that recirculated the indoor air rather than exhausting fumes and moisture.
We set this sealed box on top of a mold incubating basement or crawlspace and put the HVAC system in the spore laden environment where it could draw in the contaminated air and broadcast it throughout the home. We installed a filter that was incapable of capturing mold spores and respirable particulate in a place that was difficult to access to change filters. We were told to set the thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter to save energy, degrading the HVAC system’s ability to filter the air and provide humidity control, and then required the HVAC to be more efficient so that it hardly ever came on anyway.
We filled our homes and other buildings with possessions that off-gassed chemicals and used pest control and cleaning chemicals that could make us sick. We added humidity raising hot tubs, and took more frequent humidity raising showers. We added clothes dryers and other appliances that exhaust air out of the home which must be replaced with air drawn from unfiltered, unconditioned, and less healthy areas like attics, basements, crawlspaces, and wall cavities.
Call 770-938-4861 to discuss your situation and determine whether an inspection and sampling is right for you and your family, or Click Here to sign up for the Express Report or Standard Inspection on line.